Secretary of State denounces judge, cites need to protect abuse victims

8 months 3 weeks 2 days ago Wednesday, April 26 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 4:12:00 PM CDT April 26, 2017 in News
By: Ben Burke, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft teamed up with Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley and local legislators to fight against a St. Louis County circuit judge who they say challenged the integrity of the Safe at Home Address Confidentiality Program. 

The program's goal is to keep the addresses of survivors of domestic violence, assault and abuse confidential by giving them substitute addresses and a mail-forwarding service.

In January, St. Louis County Circuit Judge Sandra Farragut-Hemphill filed a court order requiring a woman to reveal her address as a part of a divorce case, despite the fact that she was a participant in the program.

According to a release from Attorney General Josh Hawley's office, he filed an emergency motion to intervene on the case in defense of the program.

"It protects Missourians across the state whose safety is threatened by violence," Hawley said in the release. "Every victim of domestic abuse should be able to keep her identity safe and we will fight to ensure she can."

Ashcroft held a press conference Wednesday to denounce what he calls a refusal on the circuit court's part to hear the motion.

"I will do everything I can to protect this victim and all the other victims of abuse through the Safe at Home program," Ashcroft said. 

The circuit court judge cited a flaw with the program application process when defending her decision.

Because of it, the roughly 1,500 people in the program received letters asking for them to reapply to the program last week.

Ashcroft said the program is about a lot more than this individual case.

"This is incredibly important to me. This is a service we provide to protect some of the most at-risk, most vulnerable citizens of our state," Ashcroft said. "If any of my family were at risk or in any danger like this, I would do anything I could do to help them."

Protecting people at risk is also important to True North Executive Director Elizabeth Herrera. 

"Many times, it is the difference between life and death for these mostly women," Herrera said. "Once the abuser knows the address of the victim, they can go ahead and commit a crime or really threaten the lives and the safety of the women."

Herrera said the case, as well changes in Missouri gun laws, have created greater concern about how the state protects survivors of domestic violence.

She said it gives her hope that Ashcroft and Hawley are looking to strengthen the Safe at Home program.

 

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Several department directors for Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens have finally won Senate confirmation for their... More >>
57 minutes ago Thursday, January 18 2018 Jan 18, 2018 Thursday, January 18, 2018 5:01:08 PM CST January 18, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Amazon has announced its list of 20 cities for a second headquarters, and both big... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, January 18 2018 Jan 18, 2018 Thursday, January 18, 2018 4:57:51 PM CST January 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- State-of-the-art technology is coming to the Columbia Fire Department, and improving many facets that help firefighters do their jobs.... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, January 18 2018 Jan 18, 2018 Thursday, January 18, 2018 4:31:00 PM CST January 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – This season’s frigid temperatures mean a rise in frozen pipes around the city. Lucia Bourgeois, communications specialist... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, January 18 2018 Jan 18, 2018 Thursday, January 18, 2018 3:48:00 PM CST January 18, 2018 in News
MACON - Crews tore down a 100-year-old piece of Macon's history Thursday. Four years ago, courts condemned the old Macon... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, January 18 2018 Jan 18, 2018 Thursday, January 18, 2018 2:07:00 PM CST January 18, 2018 in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Eric Greitens released an outline of his plan for state tax reform on Thursday. The outline... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, January 18 2018 Jan 18, 2018 Thursday, January 18, 2018 1:28:00 PM CST January 18, 2018 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - A former sheriff's deputy already facing charges of child pornography and child molestation faces more charges in... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, January 18 2018 Jan 18, 2018 Thursday, January 18, 2018 12:47:00 PM CST January 18, 2018 in Top Stories
MONTGOMERY COUNTY - One man was hospitalized after a car driving the wrong way crashed into his vehicle, according to... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, January 18 2018 Jan 18, 2018 Thursday, January 18, 2018 12:37:00 PM CST January 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Deputies booked two men into the Boone County Jail on suspicion of various charges, including an apparent plan... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, January 18 2018 Jan 18, 2018 Thursday, January 18, 2018 8:37:00 AM CST January 18, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri Department of Corrections employee is charged with using a hidden camera to film... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, January 18 2018 Jan 18, 2018 Thursday, January 18, 2018 8:14:00 AM CST January 18, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A northwest Missouri lawmaker has donated a kidney as part of a transplant chain to... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, January 18 2018 Jan 18, 2018 Thursday, January 18, 2018 8:00:00 AM CST January 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's unemployment rate has edged up slightly. Data released Wednesday by the state Department... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 7:26:31 PM CST January 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Citing new testimony from a state school board member, a Springfield teacher is asking a... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 7:22:00 PM CST January 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Professional hair braiders would face fewer regulations under a bill passed by the Missouri House.... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 7:15:17 PM CST January 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Some Special Olympics athletes are ready for prom after choosing their perfect dress from more than 100 that... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 7:04:00 PM CST January 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The next step in construction of a new middle school in Columbia is a public vote scheduled for... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 7:00:00 PM CST January 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - With the Jan. 19 deadline looming for Congress to pass a federal spending bill and keep the... More >>
23 hours ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 6:46:00 PM CST January 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has signed off on Missouri's plans for implementing a new act that... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 5:17:00 PM CST January 17, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 39°
6pm 33°
7pm 31°
8pm 30°
9pm 29°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

5:30p
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
6:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 6
7:00p
Superstore
5:30p
American Dad!
6:00p
Family Guy
6:30p
Family Guy

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Superstore
7:30p
The Good Place
8:00p
Will & Grace
8:31p
Great News
9:00p
Chicago Fire
7:00p
Supernatural
8:00p
Arrow
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld